Education

South Carolina Middle School Forced To Open Minority-Only Coping Session To All Students After Parent Complaints

(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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A middle school in South Carolina was forced to open up minority-only programming to all students following parents’ complaints, a spokesperson for the School District of Pickens County confirmed to the Daily Caller.

On Monday, April 11, Pickens Middle School invited all students to a “special virtual presentation” with guest speaker Adrienne Young. On the same day, minority students were sent a letter inviting them to attend minority-only lunches with the same speaker.

The email listed three minority-only lunches, a “6th-grade lunch for African American students,” a “7th-grade lunch for Hispanic students” and an “8th-grade lunch for two or more background students,” according to Parents Defending Education, a concerned parents organization. (RELATED: Michigan Public School Threatened Maskless Parents With Criminal Trespassing Charges)

The lunches were designed to give Young “a chance to talk with students about how to cope with being a student in a predominately white school.” Pizza and dessert were reportedly served as well.

Darian Byrd, a spokesman for the School District of Pickens County, told the Daily Caller that the “original intention” was to use the small groups “as an opportunity for students of specific minority groups to ask questions to the speaker surrounded by others like them – to create an increased sense of security for them to be open and candid.”

Byrd said that multiple parents contacted the school April 14 “expressing concern that opportunities have been created for some students at lunch and not all students.” Following parents’ feedback, the school “made the small group learning sessions an option for all [Pickens Middle School] students.”

The district told the Daily Caller that 83 minority students were initially invited to the lunches, and 55 attended. An additional 40 white students attended, the district said.

Parents Defending Education filed a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Pickens Middle School for allegedly violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.